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  "More Miles" 

"More Smiles"

This site is not affiliated with, sponsored or approved by Irving Oil Limited.


       This chapter in  "Bud's World" was designed to provide petroleum collectors with a basic understanding of the
      IRVING OIL CO. and their various products.  It is not intended to be an authoritative reference guide and the
       writer strongly urges you to check the corporations website for information you are seeking.

                                                                                THE BEGINNING
It was 1924 when young 25 year old K.C. (Kenneth Colin) Irving opened the first garage and service station in Bouctouche, New Brunswick.  It was also the year that K.C. opened a Ford dealership in Saint John, N.B. and established Irving Oil Limited

Using $2,000 of his own and borrowed money, K.C. established a small refinery and made arrangements for his first shipment of oil from the Charles Noble & Co. of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Building on the belief that ' Service means everything' Irving Oil quickly established a strong presence throughout Canada's Atlantic provinces. 

K.C. sensed that the automobile industry was about to grow and he was proven right.  By 1929 cars became affordable, the gasoline output increased measureably and the road network expanded.  Even the misery associated with the stock crash proved to be nothing more then another challenge to Ken Irving who realized, like other astute empire
builders that depressions are great times to purchase new assets.  He continued to expand and within two decades his corporation controlled more than a third of the 
Maritime oil business.  His name and company logo were well on their way to becomming legenday. 

In 1937 the IRVING Oil Corporation issued a special commemorative logo honouring King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Photo courtesy of Ted & Carol Appleby


       'Primrose' was the name of Irving Oil's first gasoline while 'Velco' has been identified as their first motor oil.
       It would seem however that the 'IOKA', 'Superior' and 'Penn-Air' brands were produced prior to Velco.

What does it mean?

       Through the kindness of Victor Irving I have 
       finally learned the true meaning of the  word 
       "IOKA" .  For years I had assumed, as so many 
       collectors  do, that the "I" and "O" stood for 
       IRVING OIL.  I  was wrong.  My assumption that 
       the "K" stood for Kenneth and my thoughts
       concerning the "A" were also very incorrect.  As
       you will see from Victor's memo the "I" does stand
       for Irving but who would have guessed that the 
       "OKA" stands for " OKlahom A

Thank you Victor

Courtesy of Norm Pennie

Superior & PENN-AIR
brand motor oils

                             Courtesy of Norm Pennie

 Penn-Lube Motor Oil rack

VELCO Motor Oil

Penn-Lube Motor Oil

 IOKA Motor Oil rack 

VELCO Motor Oil rack
Photo Courtesy of Wes Hague
              Photo courtesy of Norm Pennie

IOKA Cup Grease
           Photo courtesy of Wes Haque


IOKA & VELCO Motor Oil cans
 (Early products of the Irving Oil Co.)  

Attractive Irving quart oil cans.

Five different Superior green cans were produced.  The last one (without a price) was made of composite paper.

Note the words "Gas" & "Oil" have been deleted from the original logo.

IRVING Outboard, Chain, A.T.F. & Fuel Oils.

IRVING Oil - Anti Freeze

IOKA cans featured wonderful and very colorful graphics. 

 VELCO cans were less 
    graphic but very colorful. 
    They featured the IRVING
    slogan -
 "More Miles More Smiles"



Photo courtesy of Ted & Carol Appleby

This sign appeared on the cab of early delivery trucks
Photo courtesy of Ron Carey

IRVING OIL Travel Guides

The IRVING OIL company produced a wide variety of colorful travel-guides and road maps.  I hope to learn more about these guides and will update this feature as I do.


License Plate Attachements

produced a series of license plate attachments and porcelain signs that highlighted the names of different cities, towns and geographical areas throughout Atlantic Canada. 





Photo courtesy of Jim Williams


This wonderful pedal car was one of several prizes that was given away by
IRVING OIL during their special  "CRUISIN 2 WIN" promotion in 2004.


I would appreciate hearing from anyone who can assist me with finding new Irving items for my collection.  I am also seeking information relative to the early IRVING products identified by such names as "IOKA" , "Primrose" and "Velco" .  Any help you can provide will be appreciated.

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